In Paulo Coelho's allegorical novel "The Alchemist" a shepherd boy finds his Personal Legend by following through with a journey that would shape his life. We also see this in a underdog story, a popular movies series, and a dystopian novel.
"It's what you have always wanted to accomplish...They are not afraid to dream...but as time passes, a mysterious force begins to convince them that it will be impossible for them to realize their Personal Legend. (Coelho 23-24)
Commentary- So everyone has their own personal legend. We must take action to accomplish this task. These legends are found in various ways through a path of omens, a journey, or becoming the king of a great nation...
1st Samuel 17- 8: Goliath stood and shouted to the ranks of Israel, “Why do you come out and line up for battle? Am I not a Philistine, and are you not the servants of Saul? Choose a man and have him come down to me. 9: If he is able to fight and kill me, we will become your subjects; but if I overcome him and kill him, you will become our subjects and serve us.” 10: Then the Philistine said, “This day I defy the armies of Israel! Give me a man and let us fight each other.” 11: On hearing the Philistine’s words, Saul and all the Israelites were dismayed and terrified.
David, just a young shepherd finds himself in a situation where he can make a risky decision. He takes a leap of faith and preforms a feat so great that his personal legend brings him into royalty. When he finds out about the fear of the Israelites he accepts the challenge of the giant...
50: So David triumphed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone; without a sword in his hand he struck down the Philistine and killed him.
2nd samuel 5:3 When all the elders of Israel had come to King David at Hebron...5: In Hebron he reigned over Judah seven years and six months, and in Jerusalem he reigned over all Israel and Judah thirty-three years.(niv holy bible)
Commentary- A young boy defeated a giant and later lead a great nation thus finding his personal legend.
Likewise in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, a boy is destined to defeat the greatest evil power known in his world.
Harry Potter receives a prophecy that he had been dreaming about; much like Santiago in The Alchemist.
“The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord approaches…born to those who have thrice defied him, born as the seventh month dies…and the Dark Lord will mark him as his equal, but he will power the Dark Lord knows not…and either must die at the hand of the other for neither can live while the other survives…the one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord will be born as the seventh month dies.”(Rowling 841)
Commentary- Harry Potter finds out about this prophecy and takes action, he completes his personal legend by defeating the Dark Lord Voldemort.
This is not to say that our legends are laid out for us through prophecy or that we must have great physical strength.
Jonas in The Giver by Lois Lowry saves the people in his community from living perpetual lives, doing things as told without question, and living without emotion. When Jonas receives memories from The Giver he understands that it is his job to return emotion and memories to the people.
“The worst part of holding the memories is not the pain. It's the loneliness of it. Memories need to be shared.”(Lowry 153)
Commentary-Our character goes on to restore memories and emotions to the community. He was one of the only people who could preform the task and instead of running away, he looked fear in the face and did what he was meant to do, this was his way of achieving his personal legend.
Conclusion- All three stories, all different genres, share similar messages. We can find our personal legend if we only try. It may take time, effort, blood, sweat, and tears but we have to make the choice
"He still had some doubts about the decision he had made. But he was able to understand one thing: making a decision was only the beginning of things. When someone makes a decision, he is really driving into a strong current that will carry him to places he had never dreamed of when he first made the decision. (Coelho 68)